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Chapter 8 A Key? Conflict, and the Struggle for an Ecology of Dialogue, Learning and Peace among Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Educators

Abstract

This chapter is about the potential for using auto/biographical narrative enquiry in teaching and research to build small ecologies of learning, healing, dialogue and peace across trauma, and profound difference. This as part of an educational project to encourage active citizenship and democratic values in teacher education in Israel, among Palestinian and Jewish educators. Auto/biographical narrative workshops and research were used to chronicle common experiences of trauma, hurt and insecurity within the unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine. Here the other, for many Palestinians, is the Israeli Jewish coloniser over 70 years and more. For Israeli Jews, the other can be perceived as a would-be terrorist, uncivilised and bringing danger to the democratic, metropolitan light of Israel. The darkness of two unresolved traumas hangs over the work – the Holocaust for Jews and Al Nakba for Palestinians. The former is the murder of 6 million Jewish people in Europe during the 2nd World War. The latter, in English, means the Catastrophe: of the 1948 War with the putative state of Israel, and of dispossession and loss. How much can auto/biographical and narrative processes create small ecologies of light, hope and justice? The answer is not easy, but the effort worthwhile, if the alternative is continuing cycles of hatred and violence.

Open Access
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
Part 1 Discourses of Ecology and Learning
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
Conclusion An Evolution of Ideas
Open Access
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
Part 3 Diversity as a Content and as a Feature of Biographic Enquiry
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
Part 2 Dialogue in Learning Together, and Its Distress
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
Introduction Towards an Ecological Perspective on Learning and the Stories People Tell
Open Access
In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research
This book explores how narratives are deeply embodied, engaging heart, soul, as well as mind, through varying adult learner perspectives. Biographical research is not an isolated, individual, solipsistic endeavor but shaped by larger ecological interactions – in families, schools, universities, communities, societies, and networks – that can create or destroy hope.

Telling or listening to life stories celebrates complexity, messiness, and the rich potential of learning lives. The narratives in this book highlight the rapid disruption of sustainable ecologies, not only ‘natural’, physical, and biological, but also psychological, economic, relational, political, educational, cultural, and ethical. Yet, despite living in a precarious, and often frightening, liquid world, biographical research can both chronicle and illuminate how resources of hope are created in deeper, aesthetically satisfying ways. Biographical research offers insights, and even signposts, to understand and transcend the darker side of the human condition, alongside its inspirations.

Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research aims to generate insight into people’s fears and anxieties but also their capacity to 'keep on keeping on' and to challenge forces that would diminish their and all our humanity. It provides a sustainable approach to creating sufficient hope in individuals and communities by showing how building meaningful dialogue, grounded in social justice, can create good enough experiences of togetherness across difference. The book illuminates what amounts to an ecology of life, learning and human flourishing in a sometimes tortured, fractious, fragmented, and fragile world, yet one still offering rich resources of hope.